The Master Gardener Program in St. Croix County started in 1997. Over 635 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 95 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2016. The UWEX Educator facilitating the MG Program is Horticulture Educator Diana Alfuth.
Community Garden Still Growing
The community garden in New Richmond began in 2000 and still goes strong with a core group of MGVs. All of the produce produced in the large garden is donated to hunger prevention eﬀorts. Local food pantries, senior centers, and other locations depend on the wide variety of high quality produce donated from the garden. Over 2000 pounds of produce were harvested and donated this year, a reduction in past years due to infestation of late blight and other fungal diseases caused by wet growing conditions.
Annual Plant Sale Proceeds Redistributed
The St. Croix Valley Master Gardener Association (of MGVs in Pierce and St. Croix Counties) hosts a large plant sale at the historic Octagon House each June featuring plants divided out of members’ gardens or started by seed. The sale has developed a following of repeat customers and proceeds average over $4,000 each year. This money is in turn distributed through a community grant program where the Association gives money for a wide variety of garden-related projects throughout Pierce and St. Croix Counties.
Participants Learns at Garden U
Each year in March the MGVs in St. Croix and Pierce Counties host a day-long educational program for the public called “Garden U”. Tapping into a wide variety of experts, including those from Wisconsin and Minnesota universities, this workshop draws 150+ participants each year to provide them with high-quality, timely information to help them be successful in their gardening eﬀorts. Topics each year are determined by community surveys and emerging topics.
Volunteer Service in 2015
|Youth education||178 hours|
|Adult education||444 hours|
|Support services||2882 hours|
Since 2000: 44,002 hours at a value of over $798,814
* using the current estimated dollar value of volunteer time in Wisconsin of $22.24 per hour, from Independent Sector. Cumulative value based on previous annual estimates.
Where you can find activities by MGVs in St. Croix Co.
- Hudson Farmers Market
- St. Croix County Fair
- Baldwin Community Garden
- New Richmond Community Garden
- St. Joseph Town Hall
- Houlton School Garden
- St. Patrick School Garden
- Hudson Rain Gardens and Parks